Splitter pot
Yesterday was a good day. I mentioned in the 7Seas group that I was still looking for a Prize pot for fishing contests - I'd tried a demo of one, but it had self deleted and I couldn't remember the creator. Someone else said that she thought that prize pot was a bit pricey, and then Nya said that she should get around to making one. Soon afterwards, she asked if anyone wanted to help her test it. I said sure, and teleported over. Amara and I waited / suggested / fished / tested for a probably a couple of hours while Nya worked on the script. When she was done, Nya gave us both a copy of the script - wooo :) So generous. Both she and Amara are talented builders / scripters - I'd love to be able to build/script like them. Nya had a 1 prim sculptured couch with several sitting animations in it. Considering how hard it was for me to build one static pose into a cushion, I can imagine the effort that building and positioning those poses would take. Making sculpties is something else I'd like to have a go at.

While I was there, they also helped me with a couple of scripts for the fishing trophy I made - I had two different rotation scripts in different prims, but every time I linked the prims it would get messed up. I had fiddled with it for an hour without coming up with a solution, but Amara and Nya fixed it in a couple of minutes. Amara even made me a new "watery rotation script" which was the same visually as the rotation script I had been using for the water, but was just a few lines, as opposed to containing pages of irrelevant scripting (the one I was using came from a bath tub with other features - filling, steam, sound etc).

I also bought the new Loco Pocos Koala avatar. It's cute, and makes me feel Aussie.

This morning I fixed the trophies with the new scripts, and made them a bit bigger. I also made a wooden bowl with water in it to use as my prize pot. Unfortunately when I transferred the splitter pot script and tired to get it working, prizes weren't being payed out to me from the pot. I'll ask Nya what I've done wrong when I next see them. Other than that, I'm ready to hold a fishing contest.

I also visited an area called Lollygaggers suggested by Bettina Tizzy from the NPIRL group. It's a slum area, quite well made. There was even fishing there, but no customs. Some of the stuff there was by Arcadia Asylum. There were other things that the building group had made, and some were for sale, but they seemed quite expensive. I saw a couch with mismatched cushions there that I really liked, but it was very primmy. As long as I'm on a 512m block, I can't even consider 18prim couches... (speaking of which, now that I have made a land group, I can own up to 563 square meters without paying tier... I wish I'd realised that before I bought the land... for some reason I thought that the "extra prims" that the group got for having group owned land weren't related to owning *more* land... seems kind of obvious now).

Building / Cushions!
Willow mentioned Avilion, and I asked if you needed to be part of a group to visit the area. I had previously visited, but hadn't been able to find it again since returning to SL. She said all you needed was "modest clothes". I decided to check  it out again, and put on the "Rustic" outfit I had picked up for free from the recent medieval fair - from DDD ( Dysfunctional Dolly Designs?). As I put it on, I saw the landmark to Sanguine with the clothes, and remembered that I had liked the rustic/medieval build (shops) there. So I went house-shopping there instead. They had a few things I liked - low prim tables, campfires (although I have a reasonably nice free one already), bowls, baskets, and I loved the food too - but that sort of stuff is way to primmy for my tiny bit of land. They had some one prim cushions that I liked (really cheap too, about 5L I think), but the "sit crosslegged" pose made my legs go into the cushion (and it was no-mod). Some of the cushions were sculptured, but I noticed that some were modified torus shapes. Looking around at the barrels, and bowls / half-barrels filled with water, I saw that most of them were made from torus(es?) too, and that some of the textures were from the library. I decided to go home and try building them myself.

Building the cushion turned out to be easy. I needed to put a pose in the cushion, so I went to the Free Script Library and picked up a sitting / poseball script. Due to the orientation of the torus, positioning the sitting pose using the "quaternery rotation" thing was *not* easy (So much work for a simple cushion!), but it was very satisfying when I finally got it right. I made lots of the cushions, and started selecting nice cushiony textures for them from my inventory... until my land was full. Then I just played with the texture of one cushion, taking note of the textures that worked. I considered selling them for 5L (although I'm not sure that they're worth even that, despite the time it took to work things out / texture them... and I'm not sure how I feel about selling things at all... so far everything I've made (that I've given out at all) has been full permissions - it can be a hard thing to do, giving something away completely (even if it's not very good, lol) but it does feel good to do it. I have nothing against donations though, lol.

I went back to ground level and decided to make my "HoboCouch-broken" (by Arcadia Asylum) less primmy (it was 11 prims initially, and I had already increased that to 12 prims when I "replaced" the missing leg, and "fixed" the rest of the couch). After fiddling for a while, I reduced it to 4 prims. I'm not sure if it looks as good, but then I'm not sure how long I plan to keep it either. One great thing is that the animations are in a set of cushions I got free (with another couch that I isn't really the style I want) from the Peace on Earth hunt over Christmas, and can be put on any couch (although they are no-copy). I made another copy of the reduced-prim couch, but there wasn't a working "sit" on the couch any more. I modified one of my torus cushions, thinking of putting a couch-sit pose in it, but when it didn't work out after a couple of minutes of fiddling (damn you, strange rotation system!), I gave up. There's only so much building that I can do without a break, and I think it was about time for bed then anyway. Gotta remember to stop when it feels more like effort than fun.

Do you play En Garde?
The day before yesterday, I had just started building my "house / fishing area" again after deciding not to pull the last effort back out of my inventory. Building was completely absorbing, and I was surpirsed when I looked up and saw a woman standing watching me from the opposite side of the canal. As soon as I noticed her, she started walking off. I checked the chat history, and saw that she'd asked me, in local chat, and then IM - "Do you play En Garde?" I apologised for not noticing earlier, and said that I didn't play, and asked what it was.

It turns out that across the canal from me is a pretty big place called Pirates Cove. There is a (completely free :) ) HUD based game there called En Garde, which is played on site at Pirates Cove. It's supposed to simulate fencing, but it's really a card game - you can advance, attack and parry in different combinations depending on the numbered cards you have. The goal is to score a "touch" to win the round. When you use cards, they are replaced until there are no more remaining. If the cards run out, you can win based on your position along the fencing area/platform.

It's a bit slow at first, but I've enjoyed playing it. Better yet, I told my (RL) fiance about the game, saying he'd probably like it, and he brought Grey (the way-too-rarely-used avatar that I created for him) into SL  to try it. He likes it, and is now happily sitting on top of the "local champions" board there (Although I'm not sure how the scoring works... you get more points for winning a game, but I think you get some points for losing too). I love it when he comes into SL. He loves computer games, but SL really doesn't capture his attention, so it's great that I've found something to share with him here.

Willow, the elf-woman who introduced me to En Garde, visited my land and said she liked it. She said that "this will be a really fun area" when I told her I was thinking of putting some fishing on my land. The thought that other people would use my land made me really happy, but I also felt guilty, because she'd introduced me to a free game, but for fishing you have to buy a fishing rod, which is either 100L or 250L depending on whether you want one that can use bait (and potentially catch anything, although also works without bait). She didn't have payment info on file. Maybe I'll buy her a rod, if she's interested.

Land Ahoy
Today, well, technically today because it was after midnight (but I have slept since then) I bought my first block of land in SL :)

The previous day I had gotten a premium account for the first time, and I spent all the time between then and when I bought the land scouring the grid for land (both using search and physically looking for "for-sale" signs on the map. There was an auction for some nice protected-waterfront land in Colona, but it got too expensive and I didn't win it. I was disappointed about that for a while, and got more disappointed when I discovered how rare, and pricey, anything with a "protected" edge, that wasn't in an add-farm rich region, seemed to be. Eventually I found the land that I ended up buying, after deciding that a completely boxed in-surrounded-by-add-farms plot wasn't worth having for the cheaper price. I wanted to be able to build on ground level, and have it look decent. Otherwise I might as well buy the cheaper land and build a skybox (which is fun too, but I'd already had that experience while I briefly rented for 2 weeks. Ironically, the new land I found was more expensive than the auctioned land that got too expensive. Haha, well, I liked it, and I didn't want all that premium stipend to go to waste while I continued a depressing search.

My land is in Cosmet. It's a 512m block that has a protected water channel at both the front and back. At the front, there's another water channel at 90 degrees to the other two that leads all the way to a set of protected oceans (so at least a small part of my view is protected).

I'm planning to make this land a nice relaxed breasy fishing area, with just a small house so I can fully appreciate the terra-forming / landscaping factor (It's sooo much fun to be able to change the shape of the land, and even more fun with a plot that goes under-water when it's lowered - water channels, pools etc... so many possibilities).

I spent ages yesterday, changing the shape of the land, building a "house" / dock... just mucking around, coming up with ideas. I think it'll be a while yet before it's close to finished. When it is, I'll make an announcement in the fishing group and / or have some other people over for a "housewarming".
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Loco Pocos influx
Not long after I bought a fishing rod (the same day I think?), there was an announcement that there was now fishing at Loco Pocos, and that there were some "custom catches" including an avatar. I was really excited about that. I've always liked Loco Pocos - by some coincidence I'd just been asking in a chat group earlier the same day if anyone had a landmark to Loco Pocos (I wanted to visit the island again, but couldn't remember the exact spelling, and couldn't find it in search (I had been searching Locos Pocos).

The catchable avatars were the "Freida and Freddy" (ferret) avatars, which I've always loved. They have been prizes in several previous events, from the store opening, to the halloween hunt, but aren't available in the shop. I've always missed out on them during the hunts, despite trying for ages. I'm not sure if they were around during the Christmas hunt, but I missed that entirely as my internet was down. Either way, I've wanted "Freida" for a long time. So, I happily went to fish there.

I caught many Loco Pocos "swimmers", which are super-cute in themselves, although they only swim in the correct orbits when wearing a Loco Pocos avatar, due to the weird orientations of the attachment points in the compressed Loco Pocos avatar. It was crowded there, and almost everyone was wearing a Loco Poco avatar, and fishing with either the free "fishing stick" designed for Loco Pocos avatars, or the really cool Loco Pocos fishing rod. They looked great, and I wanted to be a part of it, especially with a Freida avatar.

After fishing for a while and not catching Freida, (and knowing the chance of catching a "SuperUltraRare" fish was 2% according to the 7Seas website, and knowing that not all of the SUR's would come with a Freida - I'd already caught 2 SURs there at that point) I gave up and decided I wanted a Loco Pocos avatar even if it wasn't Freida. I looked around the shop (yet again), trying to "feel" something for the other avatars, but I didn't think any of them were as cute as Freida, and there weren't any Aussie avis either. With a bit of a sigh, I went to buy some more bait instead... and I soon caught her! Hehe, lucky I caught her and not "Freddy" lol, but I would have settled for him - he is identical apart from the torso, and that gets fully replaced by shirts. It was a bit frustrating / stressful, knowing that I would have gladly bought the avatar from a shop for the usual 350L, but not wanting to spend indefinite amounts on bait in an effort to catch her (bait is not always required to fish - but is required to catch the two rarest categories of fish - Ultrarare and SuperUltraRare).

I was so glad to finally have Freida, and glad I didn't buy one of the avatars that I didn't feel as strongly about. I did buy a fishing outfit and a pair of sweatpants... stuff that I liked, and also a way of thanking Damien (the Loco Pocos creator). I went around the island as a Loco Poco ferret, doing the puzzles to get the accessory prizes (I'd collected them at the time of the store opening, but had deleted them from my inventory due to not having an avatar for them).

I visited the Loco Pocos blog and discovered that there were soon going to be another group of avi's released - the animals had been suggested and voted on by the public - a Hedgehog, Wolf, Skunk, Cthulhu, and KOALA were going to be released. As with previous releases, it was announced that names for them could be suggested on the forum, and the person who's names were chosen for each avatar would win a free copy of that avatar. Needless to say, I was now in a Loco Pocos mood, and I hoped to win one of them - particularly the Koala, but I thought any of the others would be cute too. I suggested several names, hoping for Kyle / Kylie for the Koalas (following the Loco Pocos theme, the male and female names have to be similar to eachother and have to start with the same letter as the name of the animal). Kylie is an Australian name that means boomerang (and is also similar to my name, Kie :) )

I was also proud of my name suggestions for the Wolf avatars - Lupi and Luna (Lupi for "lupine" and luna for "moon"). Even though they didn't start with W, they started with the same letter as the scientific species name of the wolf (Lupus), and not every Loco Pocos avatar so far has strictly had a name starting with the same first letter of the animal. I wrote a note about that with my suggestion, hoping Damien would like the names and let it slide - and they won!

Woo - I was so proud to see them on the displays in the store :) I like my new Luna avatar too, and she'll always feel special to me, but I think Freida will always be my favourite. I think he did a good job of the Koala avatar too, so I'll buy that when I get my tier payment.

He chose the names Kiwi and Kiki for the Koalas. Hmmm. Undeniebly cute names, but I think it's weird to call a Koala "Kiwi"... maybe that's something that only Aussies and Kiwis (New Zealanders) would really understand. A Kiwi is the national bird symbol of NZ... and New Zealanders are called "Kiwis" just like Australians are called "Aussies". Calling the Koala Kiwi is like creating a Kiwi (or any other symbolic national avatar - like the Panda avatar) and calling it "Aussie" - it feels a bit strange to me. So, there's my vent, but like I said, the names are still very cute. And, I'll still get a Kiki avatar :)

A work in progress...
As you can see, I haven't written anything here for a long time. So long that it almost feels like I might as well start another journal about my recent time in SL. That way people reading this wouldn't be drawing their conclusions about me as I am now from my early second life. But then, whatever entries came first in the new journal would also skew the perspective until things became more rounded. I've changed my appearance plenty of times, and spent time freebie collecting, dressing up, exploring, photographing, building, making shapes... but the person inside is always the same. I know I haven't arrived at the "final" me, in terms of my look(s) in SL, so there's really nothing monumental to separate this continuing journal with the previous entries, just time.

After being in-world for around 4 months, I've spent maybe another 6 months completely out of second life. Partly because I was spending too much time in SL, and doing related things on the net, but finally because when windlight came in, my computer no longer met the system requirements.

We eventually got a new (relatively fantastic) computer, and I've come back to SL in the last 1-2 months. I wanted to take things slowly. At first, I didn't know if I should say hi to anyone (not that many people that I knew were still around). I had a lot of serious thinking to do about whether I wanted to be back in SL, (and risk spending too much time here again), and even what the "point" was.

Windlight blew me away. Actually, things not being grey blew me away, and windlight was a substantial bonus. It made me realise how badly my old computer had been coping towards the end, when it didn't meet the requirements, but could still technically open the program. SL is a lot more fun when you can see and move around in it ;)

Second life has always appealed to me; I love the variety of avatars, exploring the world, self discovery / self expression, interacting with other people, and seeing and doing things that aren't possible in real life. There is an amazing degree of escapism from real life, while at the same time being in a place that is also real in it's own way. Even during my time without the ability to enter SL, I still kept checking the SL blogs I'd read before.

My inventory was a mess. Probably half of it was pretty poor quality, and 95% of what was in there had nothing to do with "me". I find it hard to delete anything, but I made a serious attempt to pare down my inventory to just the mid and top-quality stuff, and clothes that I would actually wear, etc. There's no point having 30 pairs of jeans to look through when you only wear 3-4 of them.

Also, having a bit more money (in RL) this year has made me feel (a little) less guilty about spending money in SL. I'd originally put some money ($25 I think) in SL so I could bank some (luckily I didn't bank too much of it) of it and get the extremely high interest. For a while there I was earning 70L in interest a day... 'twas great until the bank disappeared. Heh. I still had around 1300L left in my inventory this time around, which I decided to spend in SL rather than bothering to withdraw it into RL somehow. Although I'd already bought a few things in SL, I've found that buying just a few more bits and peices has made me feel more like myself here. Even though I had a lot of freebies from designers that I really liked, the things that were really "me" were few and far between. It's made a suprising difference to have more than a couple of casual things to wear that I've actually chosen for myself. It's opened up a whole new level of experimentation. I still don't want to go overboard... right now I'm tempted by 8 skins for 5000L... but haven't come to terms with spending $25 on one "thing" in SL, especially when I do still like the skins I have. And there are plenty of other things I want too...

I've taken hundreds of pictures in SL since I've been back (and even before I left, when I'd stopped blogging). There's often a bit of a blog-narritive in my head as I take pictures, and I always wonder if I'll eventually post them. What stops me is the tedium of choosing the pictures,and resizing and uploading them. Most of them are nothing special -  just "point and shoot" pics with defult atmosphere / lighting settings, and are more to document the experience than to be artistic. I keep taking them because I like looking back through them - they remind me of what I have in my inventory, and of places to go.

Will I start posting pics/blogging again now? I don't really know, and honestly, I don't think I did it that much to begin with. But I am back in SL (feeling a bit shy and unsettled again, even though I've been passed my first rez-day) so I thought I'd make a note of it. Even as I write this, knowing that I've spent all of the last day of the weekend and tonight (Mon) in SL, I think that on some level, being back = being addicted, and I'm not good with SL moderation. So, I don't know how long how long it'll last.

For what it's worth, here are a couple of pics of me, both taken on the last two days. The first was taken today doing the ghost-busters halloween hunt, wearing a dress, necklace and hair from the hunt on my newish faun avatar. The second is standing in Dutch Touch (possibly my fav store) yesterday, having just bought an "editing appearance" tank top from somewhere else (unfortunately only on the undershirt layer, and not finished off nicely at the bottom, but otherwise well made and I love the sentiment :)) . Neither pic is really my "default" avatar, and I selected both pics from tiny thumbnails, so they probably weren't the best photos either. I figured if I got too hung up about that I wouldn't post at all.

I don't see myself wearing this hair or dress again, but I liked their kind of retro look together.

I've had this outfit for a little while, but this is the first time I've worn the skirt and socks for any length of time. I usually wear the jacket with jeans, and even then haven't worn it that much. The necklace was one I found (and edited) from Chakryn Forest. I made the sleeve prims from the sock prims (I wanted sleeve cuffs more than sock cuffs, and the prims were no-copy... so I re-coloured them to match the jacket and did my best to re-work them).

Home sweet home
I've done a lot lately without blogging about anything, but I think this definately shouldn't go without a mention. 

Long story short - Today I started renting my first block of land in SL!

I've been in SL for months now, and always thought "When will I ever have time to hang around at home anyway?" and "Wouldn't it be better to spend my money on clothes or something I can keep?'. But, there's something about being able to build on your own (rented) land, and to be able to return and find everything as you left it the next day. It's like a personal sandbox that never returns items :) There's something nice about having somewhere (relatively) private to change clothes too (or heck, to dance around naked). One of the best parts is that I've set my "home" location to there.

I'd seen an apartment in my travels the other day for 100L/week for 100 prims. It got me thinking that a very basic place to call my own might not be that expensive after all - what's 50cents a week when I'm spending hours in SL every day at the moment?

One thing that I've always wanted to do is create something, anything, that other people that would use in SL - to "leave my mark" in some way I guess. The other day there was a quite nice MM Skins gift, but they've never looked good on my face shape. Now that I have a few freeibes from them, I decided it was about time that I made a shape that worked a little better with them. So I made a shape, which I gave to the Free*Style group. Creamy (the group owner) blogged about it, and the next day someone *recognised* me in a shop (as in recognised my name when I asked them a question) and said that they were "starstruck'! I don't think the shape is a masterpiece, so I'm not reading too much into it, but it felt great at the time :D Anyway... I've been playing with shapes a bit (and have even tweaked mine a little, which I haven't done for months now), and I've been wondering if it's something that I actually have any talent for, and if so, if anyone would be interested in wearing my shapes. On the one hand I doubt it, based on the fact that most avatars I see are gorgeous, but there seem to be no shortage of "up market" shops at least trying to sell shapes for hundreds of Lindens, so maybe there is a market. Setting up some sort of shop has always been in the back of my mind when I've thought about renting land too, and 100prims is quite a reasonable start for a shop...

Finally, with these thoughts buzzing in my head, I decided that a couple of weeks of rent was worth it just for the experience, and that I didn't have to commit beyond that. I can go back to being homeless any time, honest ;) 

I searched for the 100L apartments I'd seen the other day, but couldn't find them anywhere in the classifieds (I've since discovered that I'd miraculously taken a screenshot while I was there (I usuallt save to disk rather than taking screenshots) - it was in Brunswick 17, 88, 21). With that target price in mind, it wasn't too long before I found the land that I did chosoe to rent rent - 512m^2 with a 117 prim limit for 150L/week. More expensive per prim, but I figured renting land was preferable to renting an apartment in a multi-storey building, because this way I get the airspace too. I had to join the land owners group (a one off 150L) and pay two weeks rent in advance. So, for 450L - a couple of RL dollars - I've got this place to play with for the next two weeks. Should be fun :)

I started by marking out the property area with a "ground" piece and two prim cubes (the 512m squared is just over 30m by approx 15m), and then moved everything 500m up to get away from the clutter below, and enjoy the privacy (I might be crazy, but I'm sure there's less lag up there too).

My previously made 20 prim "house" was the first thing I dumped on the ground, but I've since started building a bigger place.

So now I'm looking around for some nice textures, and some fun things to throw in for as few prims as possible ;)
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Aussie Aussie Aussie
Sculptie Australian Native Birds at an exhibition I went to this morning.

Watch this!

I've been meaning to post about this great watch from for around a week now. It's a freebie from Muse that can be found at Fashion Avenue. 

I hadn't picked it up on my first visit to Fashion Av, because I usually prefer silver over gold jewellery, and leather over the snake-skin look. But, but I spoke to Caliah Lyon (the extremely talented, yet modest, creator) in-world, and she asked if I had the freebies that she'd put out. So, I went down to take another look...

Click to enlarge

...and I really can't say enough good things about this watch:

The attention to detail is amazing - just look at the stitched texture on the *inside* of the watch band, the "muse" branding on the face, and the cut of the diamonds. The prim-work is nicely detailed too - I love the way the end of the watch band sits out naturally, the tiny diamonds and winding knob, and the delicate watch hands.

My favourite thing about this watch is that you can set the time! Better yet, you can see the hands moving around in real-time. Overall, this watch is an amazing freebie, and I'm grateful to Caliah for making it available. I should mention that she has some of the best jewellery I've seen in SL at Muse, and some beautiful pictures on the walls advertising it too. I highly recommend everyone pick up these watches at Fashion Avenue (there are two different face colours, and silver male watches too), and of course pay Muse a visit too.

The Greenies Home
(Lots of ) Pics from yesterday

When I first logged in, the sky was more red than I'd ever seen it. Sure, I can adjust the exact sun position with my mouse, but there is still something nice about logging in to a nice sunset.


Due to my recent post about wanting to meet LJers in-world, there were a few IMs waiting for me when I logged in (thanks again guys!). Caliburn was in-world, and offered to show me his house / land. It was beautiful, and HUGE. He's done a great job with it, and it has everything from a beautiful house, to a beach, to a huge pyramid, and more - it's a good thing there was also a guided tour shuttle :)

After the tour, we enjoyed his beach campfire (with aurora in the background) for a while.


and THEN, we went to the home of the Greenies :D

I'd seen some pics, but nothing really compares to the feeling of being there. It's hard to believe that it's all made of giant prims, so far away that I had to set my draw distance to the recommended 300m just to see the walls.


You enter the build through a mouse tunnel, which leads out via a dolls house (which would be about the size of any 3 story building in SL. It certainly provides some perspective. 


In the kitchen we saw the original versions of the cat and greenie I'd seen the other day :)


Caliburn rezzed a balloon so we could see things from a different perspective (and without walking everywhere - my graffics were struggling with the 300m draw distance, so I was lagging a lot, and barely getting through the doorways).



Being in the balloon made all the other people exploring this desk / chair look like ants :)



We clicked on picture of an alien ship on one of the shelves, and it rezzed rainbow bubbles, which took us up...

to the Greenies Mothership :)

I clicked the sign of the Greenie below, and he gave me a "Take me to your Disco" T-shirt :)

I never usually wear advertising T-shirts, but this one feels more like a souvineer, so I think I'll hold on to it for now. Caliburn what looked like an awesome Greenies avatar, but it refused to load completely...

The Greenies home is one of those "must see" places in SL, and it definately didn't disappoint me. In fact, it was one of the most interesting places I've explored so far in SL.  The greenies themselves were great, but I thought it was awesome just to experience being in such a huge build, and especially in the comfort and style of a hot air balloon :D.


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